Emergencies preparedness, response

Yellow fever in Uganda

On 23 December 2010, the Minister of Health in Uganda reported 3 laboratory confirmed cases of yellow fever, detected through a special investigation following an outbreak in the country in October 2010. The cases were reported in 3 districts of Abim, Agago and Kitgum near the border with South Sudan.

In total, five cases have been laboratory confirmed for yellow fever by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (3 by RT-PCR, 1 by ELISA method and 1 by histopathology). A total of 226 cases compatible with the clinical case definition including 53 deaths have been reported by 12 districts in northern Uganda.

Following field investigations by the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the US and others partners, a decision was made to conduct a reactive mass vaccination campaign in 5 districts (Abim, Agago, Kitgum, Lamwoo and Pader). On 31 December 2010, WHO deployed three additional experts to support risk assessment, and planning and implementation of control measures which include strengthening of the surveillance system and the vaccination campaign.

A request for one million doses of vaccine was submitted to the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) on 4 January 2011 and the vaccine from the GAVI funded emergency stockpile was shipped to the country on 11 January 2011. The vaccination campaign will start on 22 January 2011, targeting a population of over 905,000 people.

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